News Article

Is Sony Discontinuing the 3G PlayStation Vita?

Posted by Sammy Barker

North American stores slashing the price of the connected console

A slew of Sony stores across North America have discounted the price of the 3G PlayStation Vita, with some outlets explaining that it’s because the premium console is about to be discontinued. Joystiq reports that you can currently purchase a bundle including a 3G handheld, an 8GB memory card, and a free PlayStation Network game (assuming you sign up to a data contract) for $199.97 from a majority of official outlets in the States.

The website continues that when contacted, an employee at the Denver location explained that the significant price drop was due to a discontinuation of the model. Shops in New Jersey and Las Vegas offered a similar explanation, while Seattle countered that the promotion was set to conclude on Sunday. Other retailers weren’t aware of the offer at all.

Last month, Sony dropped the price of the Vita’s Wi-Fi and 3G SKUs to ¥19,980 in Japan. Speaking after the manufacturer’s big PlayStation 4 coming out party, Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida explained that the price would not be reduced overseas. SCEJ president Hiroshi Kawano later added that the reason that the 3G system was reduced to the same price as its Wi-Fi counterpart was to eliminate confusion.

"Our impression was that some customers felt the whole thing was too complicated," he told Famitsu magazine. “They didn't really follow the difference between the 3G and Wi-Fi models, and they didn't really get how 3G worked. So maybe it's a forceful kind of approach, but we thought we should keep it simple. You can use the 3G model in nothing but Wi-Fi if you like, and that's ok, because they're both the same price.”

There has been some speculation that Sony’s planning to introduce a 4G version of the Vita, which could explain the reason for the discounts. However, it’s more likely that the manufacturer’s simply planning to phase out the more expensive model in favour of focusing on the standard Wi-Fi unit. Of course, that’s if it intends to discontinue the model at all. Let us know if you own a 3G Vita in the comments section below.

[via joystiq.com]

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User Comments (16)

get2sammybAdmin

#1

get2sammyb said:

I own the 3G version. I haven't topped it up much, but I like the improved GPS functionality which makes Near work so much better. It's considerably heavier, though.

Valky

#3

Valky said:

I have to say this could be for the good, since I still don't understand how much improvement the 3G is giving to core games. Speaking about overall functionality, now I can see its uses, provided you don't already have a smartphone with a 3G connection, since I assume you won't subscribe another 3G provider only for VITA.

Either they make a new model with both WIFI/3G with no additional costs, or really it's best they cut it out in order to lower the price of VITA that much to make it affordable by just anyone.
Something they need anyway.

Dambuster

#4

Dambuster said:

I own a 3g, and like sammy I like the GPS for near, but i've not topped it up for ages, I tend to link my vita to my phone. If sony did bring out a 4g vita, and it allowed me to play online, and the data charges were not stupid, I would bite, plus with ps4 streaming to vita coming soon.

rjejr

#5

rjejr said:

"Our impression was that some customers felt the whole thing was too complicated," “They didn't really follow the difference between the ... models, and they didn't really get how ... worked. So maybe it's a forceful kind of approach, but we thought we should keep it simple."

I keep waiting for Nintendo to discontinue the Basic Wii U and drop the Deluxe to the Basic price while making similar comments. Confusing a cash strapped consumer is not a good marketing technique.

Squiggle55

#6

Squiggle55 said:

The 2 models should be the same price since you have to pay extra to take advantage of the 3G's few extra perks anyway. IMO Near should be capable of impressing w/o 3G. I still think streetpass wins that battle.

Paranoimia

#7

Paranoimia said:

I've got the 3G. Handy for when you're out and about. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

Grocerspride

#8

Grocerspride said:

I think if there was something more than Near that was really exciting for 3G, more people would be inclined to use it. GPS is neat, and talking to your friends way from home is nifty, but honestly there really hasn't been any reason other than my phone being stolen for me to want to activate my 3G on my Vita. That being said, I would totally be interested in a 4G LTE model if that meant I could download games from the store over my network.

hamispink

#9

hamispink said:

I have the 3G model, though I've never actually paid for the service. I got it because of the bundle with a memory card and the promise of super stardust and a free month of use(which I never got because I didn't pay for the first month).

@Get2Sammy2, I also noticed that the 3G model is heavy when my friend first got his wifi vita. I wonder what exactly increases the weight besides the sim card.

Ps4all

#10

Ps4all said:

The 3g is useless, you can't play online with it. I use the mobile hotspot from my 4g hotspot to play vita online while out and about.

astroshamu

#13

astroshamu said:

Don't they pretty much need 3G for near? (I wouldn't know I made the mistake of making a sub account years ago)

charlesnarles

#14

charlesnarles said:

I just turn on my (AT&T) iPhone's hotspot and my wifi Vita transforms itself into the heavier, more expensive 3G model. Seems like a no-brainer to me (who'd want a Vita who didn't want an iPhone?) : )

NathanUC

#15

NathanUC said:

I purchased the 3G model as a "just in case". Wasn't sure if anything would require that model or not. I haven't used the 3G service since the first 'free' month and I have no plans to in the future. I'm almost always in range of wifi and couldn't think of a situation where I'd need 'emergency' Vita internet on the go haha.

Also, I didn't know the 3G were noticeably heavier than the wifi only ones. My brother has a wifi one but I guess I never tried to compare.

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